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National

February 6, 2015

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Misuse of Rs13.53 bn funds detected in Sindh Education Department

KARACHI: Audit department has found the financial irregularities and misuse of funds of Rs13.53 billion by the Reform Support Unit (RSU) of Sindh Education Department in financial year 2013-14.
According to the official correspondence of Audit department with the higher authorities of Education department and World Bank despite the use of huge funds of millions of rupees, condition of education and schools is very poor in Sindh province due to incompetence, corruption and mismanagement of Education department and its Reform Support Unit (RSU).
In an official correspondence with the Secretary Sindh Education department Fazal Pechoho, Richard Ben Messaoud, Country Director of World Bank and Chief Programme Manager of RSU Saba Mehmood, copies of which are available with The News, Director General Audit Sindh Ghulam Akbar Sohu showed its dissatisfaction over the financial irregularities and misuse of the funds and failing to get the minimum goals by the management of Reform Support Unit (RSU) of Sindh Education department, requested Secretary Education to investigate the matter.
Reform Support Unit of Sindh Education department was established in 2006 by the Sindh government. The main purpose of the Unit is to manage Education Sector Reforms in Sindh and improve the education system.
Unit received huge amount of millions of rupees by the Sindh government, international donor agencies and international financial institutions but despite the passage of nine years it remained unsuccessful to achieve its primary objectives.
According to this correspondence and observations of Audit department in province 6,207 schools are closed, 20,212 schools are without the facility of toilets, 23,047 schools are without the facility of drinking water, 23,242 schools are without the facility of electricity, 18,938 schools are without boundary walls and 7,461 schools are without building.
Official correspondence suggested that Rs38 million were used in excess on

account of Public Private Partnership, Rs13.704 million wasted on preparation of schools, distribution of Rs6.346 million free text books, non-deduction of income tax amounting loss of Rs0.448 million, non-production of record of free text books amounting to Rs1.4 billion, non-achievement of disbursement link indicators (DLI) resulting in non-release of Rs1.294 billion, non-utilization of project released funds of Rs10.750 billion, failing to obtain grant from European Union amounting to 10 million Euros and non-account of machinery and equipment valuing Rs17.108 million.
Saba Mehmood, Chief Programme Manager of RSU, told that the observations and findings of Audit department are incorrect and there is no any financial irregularity in RSU and in the supervision of Education department RSU has achieved its goals.
She termed the correspondence of Audit department with the higher authorities of Education department and Country head of World Bank as wrong practice.
She told that the Audit department has given their views on the funds which are still not obtained by the RSU or Education department. “How they are terming the financial irregularities in those funds which are not utilized,” argued Saba. She said that Audit department has to consult her section first and share their observations with us. “I know why DG Audit wrote these letters, there is a particular matter behind the scene which I can not disclose at this stage,” Saba said.

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